I had high hopes for this race - I’m pretty well trained, I ran 10k in training on Wednesday in 48:30 and doing an iconic race should have given me the motivation to do well.
I knew that I had to get near the front or a lot of energy would be wasted getting past slower runners. However, never did I expect what actually happened.
Shuttle buses from the finish to the start were between 4:45 and 5:30, so I figured I’d aim for the 4:45 buses to get me there in plenty of time. I left home at 4:30, and got to about 500m away at about 4:50. I then sat in traffic waiting to get into the car park until I finally got parked at 5:25, at which point I rushed to get to the bus for 5:30. When I got to the bus queue it was snaking around the finishing area - there were a few concerned people around me that we might not make it, but I remembered I just had to be in the queue at 5:30.
Finally got onto a bus around 5:45, which drove the 10km to the start - at 6:10 we were still on the bus, but I knew that there was a staggered start, so I just hoped I’d catch a later running wave.
The crowd just kept moving and then pretty soon we were across the start line and racing. Along with everyone else - the joggers and the walkers had already started.
My entire race was pretty much spent running at full pelt whenever I had space, often having to weave around slower people, cut through small gaps, brake hard to avoid groups of walkers in a line across the road. I don’t think I’ve ever sworn so much during a race, either at the race itself or at fellow ‘competitors’.
I don’t know - I guess I just don’t understand ‘fun runs’. Runs aren’t supposed to be fun - if you’re not suffering (at least by the very end), you’re not going fast enough. The idea of entering a run to walk 10km seems slightly ridiculous to me. The notion of walking while wearing a top saying ‘Pain is temporary, Pride lasts forever’ or whatever to me seems laughable. And then to not at least have guidelines to suggest that walkers stay on one side of the road or something to allow faster traffic to pass seems bizarre.
In hindsight I know I should have left home 30 minutes earlier - all my issues with the race stem from that. Next year I will qualify for the sub 50 minute starting section too.
I wanted to do sub-46, in the end I managed 48:15 - my GPS suggests I ran 10.25km which I could well believe with the weaving (although it’s not really outside the GPS’s margin of error either). Slowest km after the 1st km going over the bridge was the 5th, which was when the road narrowed significantly. Fastest km was the last, but that’s not too surprising as it was entirely downhill!
Anyway, another 10km in which I got a PB (the last was a hot July day with a hangover in 2009) that falls well short of what I suspect my potential should be.